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Crossroads

me!
I don't even really know if that's an accurate title for this post...but I clicked on here today after not having been here for more than a month, and as much as I miss you all, and miss reading your posts, I find that I just...don't get here. Several of the people that I followed over here I now interact with on Facebook, or crosspost their posts over there, so I can just click and read. Myself, this is one of three blogs - none of which I update regularly! And I wonder why I can't get any followers... ; ) But this one I try to keep to JUST writing-related stuff, and lately, I feel sort of up in the air with my writing. I guess I am having a crisis of confidence or something...things have been at a relative standstill, writing-wise, and I have not been inclined to give them a nudge in any direction whatsoever. I think about revisions, and then shudder and try to forget them again. I dabble a bit with the new story, but nothing serious. I occasionally write a line or two of poetry. But my Muse just sort of stretches lazily like a cat and then returns to the depths of her slumber. And yes, I understand that it's really just ME, and that if I want to BE a writer I have to write, but I am also self-aware enough to recognize that there is a resistance right now, and that resistance often equals problem, and I want to sort of figure out what the problem is and fix it before I try to dive in again.

I have been thinking about writing in a way, sort of relating it to running. Because see, I've been running, and getting better at it, and being consistent, and improving - much as I had been with my writing. In the fall, I ran a 5K, and came in 2nd in my age group, which was a great feeling. And really, just having entered a 5K seems to have cemented the fact that I am a runner. It's now official. I am allowed to call myself a runner. The world approves of that label.

But with writing? There are no milestones that you can pass that sort of proclaim you've arrived, and that now you're a writer. The only socially acceptable proof of your writerdom is publication. And when you write novels, exclusively...well gawd, you all know. You might never get there. I made the mistake of telling people that I'm a writer, and that I'm working on a novel. Now all I get are questions: "How's the novel coming along? Why aren't you writing now? When will it be published?" Non-writers don't understand the whole process, the tremendous lengths of time involved before something's even ready to be sent out, the bogs and mires and land mines our own brains set that sidetrack and waylay us on the arduous journey. I feel like a failure for coming up empty again and again.

I just want a shiny friggin medal that says "writer." I want a writing 5K that I can say "LOOK! I entered this. See? Here's my number; proof that I am, actually, a writer."

And I know I shouldn't need outside validation, but there it is, one of my glaring personal faults: NEEDS VALIDATION.

I don't necessarily think that this issue is the cause of my current stasis, but that rather the stasis has given me time to consider it.

Or then again, maybe it is. But I can't tell you how I regret that admission to non-writers; folks who don't understand that finishing a first draft is just the first step in a long journey; who look at you blankly when you say you're working on revisions.

I thought telling people would help me keep my nose to the grindstone. Instead, I seem to have put a lodestone around my neck, and it's dragging me under.

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chant_1
Mar. 13th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Linda - and yes, I can imagine med school must be demanding. It may be something similar going on here...I feel like suddenly the kids and all the related commitments and activities are just taking up more and more of my time! It's frustrating and I think I need to just accept that this is how things are now, and be more disciplined with my own schedule so I can still fit in all the things that are important to me.

I blog on blogger, but that's just sort of updates on the kids and our daily lives for extended family, and I'm on wordpress: ephemeraltriskele.wordpress.com. Check it out - in all your free time! ; )
writerjenn
Mar. 13th, 2012 12:08 am (UTC)
Writing involves so much work for so few external rewards that I wouldn't urge anyone to do it for any reason other than this one:
Passion.

If you're not feelin' it, it's okay to wait until you are. Because the biggest rewards are internal, and the joy or the drive of the writing itself is the best part.
chant_1
Mar. 13th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this...it's so true about the external rewards. So often, I feel like I'm just sort of working in this black hole, blindly, with no idea if what I'm doing is good, or worthwhile. It can be hard, sometimes, to keep up the level of passion required to persist.

It's nice to hear someone say that it's OK to take a break. Too often you hear variations of the theme "writers write," intimating that if you're not, well then...you're not, you know?

But I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel...I'm actually starting to get some ideas again! : )
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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